Why Your Favorite Musicians Are Broke

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Bart Funk Bass, Aug 10, 2020.

  1. Bart Funk Bass

    Bart Funk Bass

    Feb 17, 2020
    EchoEcho, Sam Dingle, Mili and 8 others like this.
  2. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    There is no money in the Arts. lol
    zontar, PWRL, Clarence Walker and 5 others like this.
  3. FilterFunk

    FilterFunk Everything is on the ONE! Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    Admittedly I didn't watch the whole video, so I don't know if this question is answered: How is it that some artists and bands actually get rich? What are they doing right, or differently?
    Tristan Wright and funkymonk13 like this.
  4. ugly_bassplayer

    ugly_bassplayer Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    The music bizz was always out to @#$$& over the musicians.

  5. AxtoOx


    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    Used to compete,not very close, in the same area as Jake E Lee, very gifted, 2 yrs w/ ozzie, takes more luck than talent.
    herndonbassist, shadven and The Owl like this.
  6. AxtoOx


    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    Go Go's, little brunette wrote everything, she's rich and not appeated much for it.q
    Gabbs likes this.
  7. Tom Petty said that it wasn't until "Damn the torpedoes " before he made his first dollar.
    Think about that...
    "American girl" " Breakdown" "Theres goes my girl"..
    3 big Albums and all those hits and he still OWED the record company from his initial contract. Finally he got enough juice to FORCE his record company to redo his contract.
    That's showbiz!
    DirtDog, steubig, leftybass54 and 6 others like this.
  8. ElectroVibe


    Mar 2, 2013
    Music is basically dead now. I like what Bob Dylan said, that if he had been born in this generation he wouldn't even have wanted to pursue music.
  9. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Never confuse artistic expression through music with the music business. The two have nothing to do with one another.
    strigidae, DirtDog, gungrog and 55 others like this.
  10. Let any company in any line of work front you all the money for you to go into business, then when you get it, piss half or more of it away, and see how long it takes before you start moaning about 'how I got screwed in the music business'.

    Filed right after the 'Do I REALLY need a lawyer and a CPA ? I'm an artist ! ! ! ' Get a grip ! !

    It reminds me of the oft-used quote in motor racing: "How do you make a million dollars racing? Spend two million dollars racing."
  11. StayLow


    Mar 14, 2008
    You forgot to mention showing zero interest in anything other than booze, dope and sluts, doing nothing to further what meager unique relevant skills or knowledge of music OR business you might actually possess, and being in music/business with a group of guys who make you look like a buttoned-down Harvard MBA who moonlights in a major symphony orchestra by comparison, with your collective average IQ amounting to a number not significantly different than 100 ... yeah it's all the record labels' fault!

    Sure, you only started writing the songs for your latest album between rounds of shooting up in the bathroom while already in the studio at $20k/day, but it's the label's lack of promotion that caused it to flop not the fact that it was totally tired garbage other than the one hit written by a ghost writer ... maaaaaan.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2020
  12. StayLow


    Mar 14, 2008
    Of course Tom and the Heartbreakers would've had no problem making radio-quality recordings and doing all the promo and payola required for getting same on radio and in print, booking tours, doing the accounting, etc.

    They'd have been household names with a series of hits all on their own, but their bankroll, connections and business sense was only surpassed by their kindness and grace so they decided to cut a random label in on it.
    oldandbold likes this.
  13. 2tonic


    Dec 22, 2015
    Not to say the commercial music industry isn't replete with scenarios of contractual abuse, bordering on indentured servitude, but in any business endeavor he who risks the most (think $$$$$$) is rewarded the most.
    Most artists in the music business don't even know music, much less business.
    Even after the countless examples committed to history, they've yet to comprehend the maxim that you have your whole life to write your first album, but only 4 months to write your second. :rolleyes:
    Spidey2112, Lackey, RumbleBot and 8 others like this.
  14. consectaneus


    Sep 23, 2016
    Hard to believe in Tom Petty's time, bands were still getting ripped off. By then there were already so many cautionary stories of bad record deals. I read even The Beatles made little off of their records...at least for a long time. A lot of those tours (until they stopped in 1966) was to make money. Petty really needed a good lawyer. He was just naive. He didn't know what "publishing" even meant, and just signed it away. Steve Vai famously went to Zappa for career advice and was told, "start your own publishing company, own the rights". CCR also signed a terrible contract.

    These kids were so excited to get a deal with a label they often made bad deals with unscrupulous lawyers and music execs.
  15. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side."

    Hunter S. Thompson
  16. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    Nathan East is one of my favorite musicians, and he's just LOL'ing at that video.

    The other 3,000 of my favorite artists, yeah, point taken.
    Artman likes this.
  17. wintremute

    wintremute mediocrity at its finest

    Oct 16, 2014
    Endorsing Artist: Langstrom Carrot Farms
    From watching the whole thing, I think the answer isn't readily apparent. One thing he points out is that while an artist may appear to be rich, they aren't actually rich. It seems that a road to wealth is "owning your masters" - owning the rights to the original recording. My guess is that some artists, who have proven themselves to be really profitable, have cut new deals with the record companies to give themselves a bigger slice of the pie. I think the general answer to "how do some artists and bands actually get rich" is, they are better at business and handling money than their peers.

    One thing this reminds me of is when MC Hammer wouldn't sign a record deal because he was making more money selling CDs out the back of his car than he would if he signed.

    I really suggest you watch the whole video. He covers a lot of topics and has different artists as examples.
  18. waver


    Nov 19, 2016
    There are some professions where a relative few make much $ while many make little or none (music, basketball, acting, trading), and there are professions where there's a larger concentration of outcomes closer to the average (dentistry).

    Here's a fun book to read: "Fooled by Randomness" by Nassim Taleb.
    wintremute, NativeBobcat, Ewo and 6 others like this.
  19. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    My favorite artists are broke because my taste in music largely includes only songs that make the average person recoil in disgust.
    HCF, Spidey2112, QRanc and 17 others like this.
  20. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    No one is making nearly as much as they used to because no one is selling music - amazing how many younger people I speak with who can't understand why you should have to "pay for music". Figure a CD in 1980 was about $15 - that means it would be almost $50 today.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Sep 28, 2021

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